Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Theory Joke

One of my students told me a new theory joke today (with some embellishments by me).

A theory professor fell asleep on the couch after a hard day at work. But nightmares about his students' sight singing exercises made him toss and turn, eventually causing him to roll off of the couch. He stood up and announced:

Mi Fa La Fa Sol Fa.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Time killers

Even though Eszter didn't label this as one of her Time sinks, it still is. The harmonics variations and microtones are particularly interesting. The former create very subtle melodies in the upper partials. I also like the hand cranked variation, playing backwards and forwards.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Ballad to friendship

I'm listening to Billy Joel's "James" from Turnstiles. It is about his childhood friend who he hasn't seen for several years. The music is a 70's style ballad, a style that is usually used for romantic lyrics. Is anyone aware of other ballads devoted to platonic friendship?

Friday, October 27, 2006

FriPod: La La Land

I offer my apologies for the lack of posts this week. I've been interviewing candidates for the music librarian position, having meetings and reading files for the dean of the School of Music search, and advising students for next semester's courses. I should be back online more next week. In the meantime, I've decided to provide helpful links to my iPod listings.

La bella Franceschina King's Singers
La Bignani Giovanni Cavaccio
La bomba Mateo Flecha
La Création Du Monde, Op. 81 Milhaud
La Feliciana a 4 Adriano Banchieri
La Fiesta Chick Corea
La Fille Aux Cheveux De Lin Debussy
La Gentile a 4 Andrea Cima
La Guerre Clément Janequin & Philippe Verdelot
La Malvezza a 4 Antonio Mortaro
La Marchande de Fleurs Turina
La Mer Debussy
La Morari Giovanni Cavaccio
La morra Heinrich Isaac
La Novella Andrea Cima
La Réjouissance George Friedrich Handel
La Traviata - Variations Maurice André/Verdi
La Tricotea Samartin la vea King's Singers
La Vie En Rose Louis Armstrong/Mack David-Louiguy/Edith Piaf
La, la, la ie ne lose dire Pierre Certon

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

How to use a textbook

As part of my natural Satan-spawned evilness, I assigned my seminar students to write reviews of their textbooks during their week-long fall break. One thing I realized is that I don't emphasize how to use textbooks enough in class. Here are things the students should be doing, and usually aren't.
  1. Play the examples on the CDs while following the score excerpts. If CDs aren't provided, look in the well-stocked music library.
  2. Even better, play the examples on the piano or sing them.
  3. Then read the descriptions again, check to see if you understand.
  4. Work on the practice exercises and check your answers in the back of the book.
  5. Look up words you don't know in the glossary or in other reference books.
  6. Look up composers or pieces you don't know, listen to recordings and look at scores.
  7. Read the explanations in the beginning of the chapter, especially if you are struggling with the topic. (For the first-year students, that would be the Aural Skills book.)
  8. Don't wait for an invitation from the professor to read from the book. Read ahead, or behind, as your curiosity and/or confusion impell you.
  9. Also read the next chapter before the professor lectures on the topic, and then read it again after the lecture.
  10. Highlight, underline, or write in margins. It is your textbook, so don't be shy.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Civilized debate

From Michael Bérubé I found out about Chris Clarke's plight. I had read a few of Chris' posts before, especially the haunting one about his step-father, the serial killer. In my seminar class we talk about how to discuss music, including a formal debate as part of the class. Real life does not usually use the rules of competetive debate, yet we do agree on certain socially-acceptable rules. One is that threats of violence are taboo. These threats are attempts to censure, and censure always stems from fear. Thus a person entering a debate/argument/discussion should be unafraid to be confronted by an idea. The commentor on Chris' blog clearly was not ready to wrestle with the ideas Chris expounded, and unfortunately Chris and his readers have to pay the price for that commentor's fear. My condolences to all involved.

Friday, October 20, 2006

FriPod: Random edition

"I Got Rhythm" - Lester Young
New Liebeslieder Waltzes, Op. 65 - 3. An Jeder Hand Die Finger - Brahms
"At the End of the Day" - Les Misérables Original Broadway Cast
Wissahickon poeTrees: 8.clocking Through Time - Jennifer Higdon
Capriccio Espagnol - Rimsky-Korsakov
The Creation: Day 5 - Haydn
Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima - Penderecki
Concerto no. 3 in D: II. Vivace - Telemann (Hardenberger)
Ave verum corpus, K. 618 - Mozart
English Suite No. 6 in D minor: Double - J.S. Bach
Sonate: 2 Sostenuto e pesante - Bartók

Also Sprach Mahler

Marc Geelhoed has a review of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's performance of Mahler's Third Symphony. First, I get such a kick out of seeing Chris Martin's name as the new principal trumpet. Chris was in the very first aural skills class I taught at Eastman, played lead trumpet in the same jazz ensemble with me that same year (including a probably illegal midnight performance on Fred Sturm's front lawn), and was a great inspiration in studio class for two years. It is no surprise that he has risen so high, given his natural talent and immense work ethic. At every studio class he was taking notes, in aural skills he was always attentive and well prepared, and he approached everything with the right combination of dedication and good humor.

Second, I take exception with Marc's description of the Third Symphony as being made of "lesser stuff." I spent a term at Lawrence University learning the details of this symphony from Alan Gimbel, learning about the connections to Nietzsche. The obvious link is with the lyrics in the fourth movement, the "Drunken Song" from Thus Spoke Zarathustra. But Gimbel entwined references to Wagner's Siegfried, Greek mythology, and earlier Mahler songs and symphonies with Schenkerian analysis to show that the whole symphony was a commentary on Zarathustra. This commentary is more deep than Strauss' tone poem, even if a major solo is given to the humble trombone.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Fundamental help

Ray Barley, a graduate student in music theory at Cincinnati, has designed the Virtual Music Classroom. Here is what Ray says:
I constructed this website for one purpose: to help high school students prepare for university music department auditions and placement examinations. If you’re exploring the possibility of majoring in music when you get to college, then you might be interested in this program.

I find it interesting that he includes a section on music careers. Many high school students and entering freshmen know very little of the options available, so it's nice that Ray has provided this information. Of course, his choices for careers to list is limited and a little odd.


As I threatened, I have revised my faculty profile. Here is a draft, tear away at it. (Patty, I'm looking at you!)
Spiegelberg received a Bachelor of Music degree in trumpet and Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry in a five-year program at Lawrence University. He then earned a Master of Music in brass performance from the University of Akron, and a Master of Arts in theory pedagogy and Ph.D. in music theory from the Eastman School of Music. His research interests are on the perception and cognition of music and theory pedagogy. He also performs the Renaissance cornetto and studies the history of trumpet articulation. He has presented at conferences of the Society for Music Theory, the Society for Music Perception and Cognition, Music Theory Society of New York State, and the 2005 Neuroscience and Music II conference in Leipzig, Germany. His reviews have been published in Empirical Musicology Review and Computer Music Journal. His blog, Musical Perceptions, receives over 100 readers each day.

Coordinator of the Music Theory program at DePauw, Spiegelberg has taught theory and applied brass at Indiana University, the University of Minnesota, Valley City State University, Buffalo State College, the University of Akron, and the Eastman School of Music. He teaches courses on music theory, musicianship, the psychology of music, film music, and writing about music. Appointed 2002.

Update: My father pointed out the misleading nature of the stricken portion above, as I did not teach both subjects at all of the institutions listed.

Oh Dowland, Where is thy Sting?

Jessica Duchen has already written thoroughly on the new Sting album of Dowland songs. But I thought I'd provide other resources for information on it. There is a story on NPR, a long interview on CBS Sunday Morning, and Sting even played on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Musicologists on the AMS list have been pointing out the pedagogical possibilities, giving opportunities to discuss crossover and/or performance practice (especially HIP). While I'm not crazy about Sting's voice (he has odd vowel sounds sometimes) I really enjoyed the passion both Sting and Edin Karamazov showed when performing on the CBS interview. I'm still debating whether to get the CD or not.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

A bleg?

This post by Chad Orzel reminds me of a request I made on Ye Olde Usenet when I first started teaching at DePauw. DePauw has a wonderful science fiction collection, thanks to the presence of sci-fi scholars Art Evans and Istvan Csicsery-Ronay and the journal Science Fiction Studies. The request is for book recommendations. I've been reading through the Hugo winners, from this year's back through 1982 so far. I've also read other books by the same award winning authors as available. I also read the library's holdings of Octavia Butler after she died, and various other authors as I've seen or heard reference of them. I find that I prefer the deep thinking books (especially with cultural, philosophical or political issues involved), and those with a good sense of humor. Zelazny's Lord of Light was highly enjoyable, as an example. So, what are the great science fiction books I should read?

Friday, October 13, 2006

Authentic Performance

Today in my counterpoint class we embarked on yet another tangent, this time on historically informed performances (HIP). I brought up the old debates on authenticity in music, how some advocates of HIP felt (or feel) that this was the only authentic way to perform a piece. I was reminded of this when reading Kenneth Woods' post about electroacoustic enhancements. Kenneth and the bløgösphère's curmudgeon criticize Cal Performances for electronically enhancing Zellerbach Hall. Hilbert Circle, the home of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, has been using electronic tricks to increase the reverberation time for about six years, as the hall was originally designed as a movie theater. There just isn't enough volume for decent reverberation, so they enhance it in the same way that Cal Performances does. As I examined the equipment used in Hilbert Circle, I noted it was very different from rock-n-roll soundboards, so Kenneth's equation is misplaced. And after my countless hours acoustically analyzing the output of musical instruments, I can assure everyone that acoustic instruments are remarkably chaotic. The chaos that Kenneth worries about from the electronics is nothing compared to the harmonic fluctuations caused by the stick-slip mechanism that makes a violin work.

But what struck me about Kenneth's post was his insistence that there is only one correct sound: "You cannot put the sound of a Strad through an electronic circuit and have it emerge on the other end with equal clarity, detail and purity." Kenneth's stance seems to suggest there is an authentic acoustic sound, and an inauthentic amplified sound. ACD is more explicit: "Astonishing (and depressing) to tell, there's an entire generation walking about out there that imagines what they're hearing through their iPod headsets is what music — genuine music; classical music — really sounds, and ought to sound, like." This is what reminded me of the authenticity movement in HIP, judging all performances of 15th-19th century music on modern instruments to be inappropriate. In the same way, ACD and Kenneth have judged all amplified performances of classical music to be wrong. I can easily imagine a bad musical sound, whether caused by amplification or other sources. The awfulness of this sound may even be a self-evident truth, at least within a specific culture or subculture. But I could not call that sound "wrong" or "unauthentic." Just as I cannot justify condemning a process without considering the individual products (as far as I can tell, Kenneth and ACD have not heard a performance in an electroacoustically enhanced hall). I encourage people interested in how technology has changed musical performance to read Mark Katz's Capturing Sound.

FriPod: Black and Blue

Black And Tan Fantasy - Duke Ellington
Black Topaz - Joan Tower
Blue 93 - Arturo Sandoval
Blue Again - Louis Armstrong
Blue Bolivar Blues - Thelonious Monk
Blue Flame - Woody Herman
Blue In Green - Miles Davis
Blue Lou - Duke Ellington; Fletcher Henderson (2 versions)
Blue Reverie - Benny Goodman
Blue Rondo a la Turk - Dave Brubeck Quartet (2 versions)
Blue Room - Benny Goodman
Blue Skies - Benny Goodman
Blue Train - John Coltrane
Blueberry Hill - Louis Armstrong
Blues and Brewing - Woody Herman
Blues for Norman - Roy Eldridge, Dizzy Gillespie, and Clark Terry
Blues in B - Benny Goodman Sextet with Charlie Christian
Blues in C sharp minor - Teddy Wilson

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Creative performances

Today I moderated a discussion panel with Frederic Rzewski, Lisa Moore, Eliane Lust, and Martin Bresnick. They were all at DePauw for this year's Music of the 21st Century festival. This year's theme was Music and Politics, kicked off with a symposium featuring talks by Bresnick and Carson Holloway. At today's discussion, Frederic commented that Clara Schumann started playing pieces from memory as an attempt to recapture the spontaneity that improvisation had been giving to piano performances. While I knew that Clara has been credited with starting the tradition of piano recitals performed without music, I had never associated it as a substitute for improvisation before. What particularly strikes me is that for the last three years I have been having musicianship students perform "comprovisation" exercises. The students have the choice of fully improvising, embellishing a skeleton melody they compose, or fully composing the exercise. If they do fully compose, I make them perform the piece from memory. My justification for this has been that it makes them fully own their own creativity, knowing their own work enough to reproduce it on demand. I was somewhat inspired by a classmate at Eastman, Abram Wilson. In our studio classes, he would always perform from memory, as he said it was the closest thing in classical performance to jazz improvisation.

Lisa Moore refuses to perform from memory, as it requires more time to prepare. Eliane gave a specific number: memorized recitals take five times as much preparation as recitals with scores. I've never felt this, as I can memorize things very easily. The act of preparing a piece for a big performance lodges it in my memory, requiring no extra work to ensure it stays memorized. And some performances do suffer from the musician hiding behind the score. Lisa's recital tonight did not have this flaw. She was incredibly engaging. But at last night's recital, solo and duo piano works performed by Frederic and Eliane, I sometimes felt a disconnect as the performers stared intently at the scores. The moment that reconnected the audience and performer was created by Frederic improvising. And that brings us full-circle.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

What do you value?

The latest assignment for my writing seminar was a review of a live performance. But with all my assignments I give a question for the students to ponder. This week's question was "What do you value in music?" Many of the students devoted their reviews to answering this question directly at the expense of focusing on the live performance (or not even writing about a specific performance), when I had intended them to have that question in the back of their minds as they formulated opinions on the chosen performance. This is my fault for not clarifying the assignment, something I'll try to correct for next time. But go and see the interesting things they wrote about Thomas Cooley (2), the Minnesota Orchestra, A Perfect Circle, the DePauw Chamber Singers, Les Yeux Noirs, Les Yeux and the Chamber Singers, Les Yeux as part of the Lotus Festival, and the Blue Man Group.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Diana Deutsch, Woman of Song

via Crooked Timber and Cosmic Variance, an entire NPR program (RadioLab) on the relationship of music and language. The show is very entertaining, and the special effects do help illuminate some of the ideas discussed. I disagree about the Absolute Pitch worship, though. It's these ideas that get my music students all stressed because they don't have absolute pitch. Yes, some composers have had absolute pitch. But there are plenty who did not or do not. The same goes with performers. I'd much rather play with someone who has a good sense of relative pitch than absolute pitch any day (not that the two are exclusive). The tuning is much easier, and the possibilities of alternate tuning systems or transposition are opened up.

Friggin' genius

PWS has found an old Dudley Moore routine that will be featured the next time I lecture on Britten. The fact that he can be so spot on, yet so devastatingly funny, speaks to his sheer musicality as well as his comedic skills. That may be a good topic for a Winter Term course, Examples of Parody in Music. Hmm...

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Bio revision

I'm planning to take time this next week to rewrite my faculty profile. The school's website has been revamped, and many people have been viewing my profile from this blog. Thus I want to give a good impression both of myself and of the school. Besides the obvious typos and misnomers (my Ph.D. is in music theory, not music, and my MA is in theory pedagogy), I could use advice on what changes to make. I would especially like feedback from college and high school students, but any advice is welcome. Should I list all my degrees and/or jobs? Should I list my publications and presentations, my research interests, professional societies, the classes I am currently teaching, the classes I have taught? I could also mention this blog. I'm also not crazy about the picture, but I don't have a good alternative yet.

In other news, I gave my first pre-concert lecture today, for a chamber recital celebrating the 150th anniversary of Robert Schumann's death.* It was fun, even if I did go 10 minutes too long. The performances were great: the Spanish Love Songs op. 138, the Fantasy Pieces op. 73 (for the original clarinet), and the fantastic piano quintet.

*Okay, the actual anniversary was on July 29, but that hasn't stopped all those Mozart celebrations after January 27 this year. And death anniversaries are a little morbid, aren't they?

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Press release

From Barry Schrader's Newsletter:
... a special screening of five newly-restored films by Adam Beckett (1950-1979) at REDCAT in Los Angeles on Sunday, October 8 at 2:00 P.M. Included on this program is the 1973 groundbreaking animation Heavy-Light for which I composed the score.
On Sunday, October 28, Footnotes Dance Theater will present work choreographed to my music as part of the 5 x 5 Dance Festival at the Carol Autorino Center at Saint Joseph College in West Hartford, CT. The 5 X 5 Dance Festival, one of the most distinctive presentations of dance in New England and this evening features performances by five different collegiate dance ensembles.
This year SCREAM (The Southern California Resource for Electro-Acoustic Music) celebrates its 20th anniversary. I started SCREAM as a consortium back in 1986, and it has since become a curated series. But this year we're bringing back all of the composers of the original consortium for a special SCREAM Reunion concert. This program will take place at the Los Angeles Harbor College Music Recital Hall on Saturday, November 4, at 8:00 P.M. As part of this celebration, I'll be premiering the solo electronic version of my work Wu Xing: Cycle of Destruction. Also on the concert will be live/electro-acoustic and studio works by Roger Bourland, David Bradfield, Tom Flaherty, Frederick Lesemann, Samuel Magrill, Rodney Oakes, and Mark Waldrep. Featured performers include violist Cynthia Fogg, oboist Richard Kravchak, clarinettist William Powell, and pianist Susan Svrcek.
On Thursday, November 9 at La Salle University in Philadelphia, there will be a special concert of electro-acoustic music inspired by plants. The Gardens of Cleito from Lost Atlantis will be presented as part of this event which takes place at 1:00 P.M. in Olney Hall 102.

Riot Central

Today I have had 19 visitors to this site looking for information on the 1913 Paris riot. Why is this? They are from all around the country (Montana, Texas, Washington, Michigan, Florida, Connecticut, Georgia, Alabama, Oklahoma, Arizona, and Virginia), so it isn't students from a particular school doing research for a project. It isn't the anniversary of the Rite of Spring riot, bumping up the number of requests. Looking at one of the search results, my site comes in third behind two Wikipedia articles. Does anyone know how Google comes up with these rankings? At least I am proud of the post in question. Hopefully many music history papers will be turned in that tell the correct story of Stravinsky's reception. It is ironic that my post should receive such attention 2.5 years after I wrote it. In my seminar class I have been playing the BBC reinactment of the premiere, and discussing the experience from the perspective of the audience, performers, and reviewers (each group having just finished their own reviews of performances on campus).

Friday, October 06, 2006


Real Or Imagined? - A Beautiful Mind soundtrack
How Do I Love Thee? - Edouard Lippe (Arleen Auger)
Why Shouldn't I? - Chet Baker
How Deep is the Ocean? - Irving Berlin (Coleman Hawkins)
¿De donde vienes, amor, mi niño? - George Crumb
Where Are You? - Dexter Gordon
Ist der Himmel darum in Lenz so blau? - Hans Pfitzner (Lucia Popp)
How Long Has This Been Going On? - George & Ira Gershwin (Sarah Vaughan)
What's That Spell? - Michael Daugherty (Dogs of Desire)
How Do I Love Thee? - Michael Daugherty (Paul Crossley)
Chi ne consola, ahi lassi? - Claudio Monteverdi
O galantuomo, come andò la caccia? - Puccini
Ov'è Angelotti? - Puccini
Sciarrone, che dice il Cavalier? - Puccini
Quanto? - Puccini
Chi è la? - Puccini [Scarpia asks a lot of questions in Tosca]
Mario Cavaradossi? - Puccini [finally someone else gets to ask a question]
Si Può? - Puccini [new opera, La Bohème]
Chi È La? - Puccini
Si Sente Meglio? - Puccini
Chi Guardi? - Puccini
Chi L'ha Richiesto? - Puccini
In Un Coupé? - Puccini
Was will die einsame Träne? - Robert Schumann (Ian Bostridge)
Ihr Tanzt? Was Werden Die Meister Sagen? - Richard Wagner

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Atonal Musicianship Pedagogy

When I started my grad program at Eastman, I taught third-year aural skills (what we call Musicianship at DePauw, called Ear Training at other schools). Back then, the entire third year of theory and aural skills was devoted to 20th century music. In aural skills, the challenge was to find a means of helping the students to sing atonal melodies. The system that Elizabeth Marvin – director of the aural skills program at the time – developed was an intervallic numbers solfege. Students sang the intervals of the melodies by the number of half-steps within the given interval. Thus a major third was "Four" and a major seventh was "lev" (short for eleven). The problem was that these students had been trained for the first two years to associate numbers with specific pitches in a tonal context. Now a given pitch could end up being sung with two different numbers in short succession, because each instance had been preceded by a different interval. We ended up scrapping the system pretty early on, with no real satisfactory substitute to be found.

The pitch charts described by Anne-Carolyn are a possible solution. An important step is to use a variety of different notes as pedals. This could be a fascinating way of analyzing a passage, as it can delve into all the possible ways of aurally comprehending the melody. I do think rhythms should not be left off, though. I would slow everything down so the majority of notes would be beats at about 60 bpm (slower for beginning students). But rhythm is so important in the character of a melody, especially in deciding which notes are resolutions, that I could not see doing away with it altogether, unless the student cannot proceed any other way. I will pass on this suggestion to my colleague who will be teaching Musicianship IV this spring, and see if she finds it useful.

More Tune Love

Carrying on with the Carry a Tune Week celebration, we have Chad's rant on the list of singalong pop tunes. I myself think the most important factors are knowing the lyrics and being in a singable range (that's why "Roxanne" can't make the list).

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Talk to the Hand

A recent visitor to this humble site was looking for Music hand staff (do re me). I assume the reader was looking for Guido's hand, pictured above. This diagram shows how Guido d'Arezzo used his hand to guide singers in hearing and singing the correct pitches. It was the birth of solfège syllables, which were used properly as a movable system. (The picture isn't good quality here for some reason. Go here for a good picture.)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Carry a Tune Week

From the AMS list I am informed that this week is Carry a Tune Week, as sponsored by American Music Preservation.com. "How can I celebrate Carry a Tune Week?" you ask. By performing or playing a favorite American tune in class or at home. These tunes can come from six (and only six!) categories: Patriotic, Folk, Religious, Popular, Classical, and Film Music. I guess Jazz fits in the Popular category, though then why do Patriotic and Religious get their own categories? Oops, got distracted. This week is chosen to be near the birthday of William Billings, and started after the September 11, 2001 tragedy. So pick your tune and sing it loud. I'm going to pick a patriotic religious folk song, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," just to point out the silliness of the categories. Then I will sing Ben Folds' "Army" because I just bought it and am very intrigued by it. And sometimes you just need to drop the F-bomb.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Fuxian species

One of my recent referrals was a Google search for Fuxian species. I can help with that:

First Species: 1:1, all whole notes all the time. Only consonances are allowed (unisons, 3rds, 5ths, 6ths, octaves, and 10ths).
Second Species: 2:1, one voice is in half notes. Any dissonance must be a passing tone.
Third Species: 4:1, one voice is in quarter notes. Dissonances can be passing tones or neighboring tones.
Fourth Species: 2:1, sort of, really 1:1 but one voice is shifted by a half note, tied over the barline, until the cadence. All dissonances are suspensions.
Fifth Species: a mix of all the previous species, known as free counterpoint. This is the end result that is closest to actual 16th century music.

For more details, consult Gradus ad Parnassum.

Our Sedition Acts

I've been avoiding political discussion on this blog recently, mostly to keep my own sanity. But I must go on record, like Sean Carroll and many others in the blogosphere, with my disgust at the passage of the senate bill that affirms the Executive branch's authority to label anyone as an enemy combatant and imprison that person with no recourse for legal defense. This is how a democracy slips into a dictatorship: through fear of the other and cowardice of the leadership. John Quiggin offers a thought experiment all Republicans should conduct.

Go figure!

Mark Connor has good advice on figured bass exercises, to follow up on my recent post. Mark relates troubles with figured bass to his troubles with long division, but not because they both use numbers! Read to find out what the connection is.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Music Scholarship

The May issue of Cognition was devoted to music. Kris Shaffer examines the first article, written by guest editor Isabelle Peretz. While I have not read this issue yet, Shaffer's description of Peretz's "The nature of music from a biological perspective," sounds very much like her work in The Cognitive Neuroscience of Music, as well as presentations she gave at the Leipzig conference. Kris points out a very important issue in regards to music cognition studies:
And Peretz fell victim to a common symptom in scholarship about music by scholars outside of the music field: citing Fred Lerdahl and Ray Jackendoff’s work in order to define key musical concepts. These two are well placed in the field (and in this issue of Cognition), but their ideas on tonal music are somewhat off-the-beaten-path, derived not from general consensus but from their A Generative Theory of Tonal Music, which has received a tepid response in the scholarly music community since it came out years back.
Psychologists and cognitive scientists love Lerdahl and Jackendoff's work (abbreviated GTTM) because it makes testable claims about the perception of musical structure. Music theorists are disenthralled with GTTM because the same efforts that led to the testable claims prevented the authors from making any significantly new claims about the structure of music. The analytical method used in the book is thorough, but non-revelatory about interpretation. A good Schenkerian graph, neo-Riemannian analysis, or pc-set analysis will open up new ways to regard the music under investigation. The tree structure of GTTM codifies with little opportunity for illumination. Fred Lerdahl wrote an article in Generative Processes in Music: The Psychology of Performance, Improvisation, and Composition in which he argues that the same rules he and Jackendoff developed for GTTM should be considered by composers when they write new music. When he composes, Lerdahl wants all of his thoughts to be perceptually present in his music, so the audience can glean the same thoughts. Thus he has to make sure that his structures remain within cognitive limits. Again, I am not aware of this theory influencing composition pedagogy to any extent.

Back to Kris' point, I concur and highly encourage scientists to collaborate with theorists on these very important studies. It's time for cognitive experiments based upon the contemporary and influential theories of Lewin, Cohn, and Quinn, as well as the scale studies of Carey and Clampitt that Kris mentions. It will take more work to craft testable hypotheses, but the payoff will be research that is much more relevant to the music world. Read the rest of the excellent post and make your own comments.